Professional SportsCar Racing Update
16 September 1997Professional SportsCar Racing, Inc. formally extended an invitation to the European World SportsCar teams to attend the final two rounds of the North American Exxon World SportsCar Championship at Sebring, FL and Laguna Seca, CA. The two dates for the races have been set for October 18 and October 26 respectiveley. The reason for the Saturday race at Sebring is to provide an extra day of rest for the teams traveling to the west coast.
PSR is hoping that these two races will provide the platform for the 1998 races. The current PSR rules package has been modified to allow turbocharged as well as normally-aspirated entries. The turbocharged cars will run under the 1997 Le Mans specifications. The teams running under those rules will be required to make three modifications: cast iron brakes in place of carbon fibre brakes, 17-inch wheels instead of the traditional 18-inch wheels, and a five-speed gear box replaces a six-speed gearbox.
The European teams will be eligible for the same prize money and bonuses as the Exxon World SportsCar Championship competitors. However, they will not be eligible to accumulate points toward the season championship. PSR will also be providing travel money.
Andy Evans, Chairman of SportsCar commented "Having the European teams benefits the series several ways. It allows us [PSR] to finish the 1997 season with two great Exxon World SportsCar Championship races that could include the Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans-winning cars. It will also allow us to gather technical data as we develop an equivalency formula for next season's 12 and 24-hour races."
PSR is still involved in litigation with the Sports Car Club of America(SCCA) over the name "SportsCar." The recent announcement by SCCA that Les Richter had come on board to guide the Pro Racing side of the SCCA has forced PSR to postpone it's new "stockcar" series. The announced PSR debut race at Las Vegas (September 21) was cancelled. Richter, recently guided the developement work and construction of the new Penske California Speedway. Richter brings many years of experience in motorsports management as well as the respect of colleagues in the motorsports domain.
David Treffer -- The AutoChannel